Access to gambling in the state of Alabama is few and far between. The state is considered a conservative one and offers only limited access to casino style gaming. The subject of gaming, especially the lottery, is a hot topic of debate among residents as well as legislators in Alabama. In the past, the lottery has been debated by lawmakers but no movement has been made as far as legislation is concerned. This is why it was surprising to find that Governor Robert Bentley has called a special session in Montgomery to discuss the lottery and how it might help the financial situation of the state.
The Governor stated that it was time the state worked on a permanent solution to the budget issues and the lottery seems to be the best alternative to do so. Bentley will be asking fellow lawmakers to approve legislation that will allow residents of the state to vote on whether or not a lottery should be allowed to take place.
The plan by Bentley for the lottery has estimated that as much as $225 million would be generated on an annual basis and this would not include any additional gambling options. With his plan, the money would be used for basic services in the state.
The date of the special session has yet to be announced and more details of the plan should be revealed in the coming days or weeks. According to the Governor, the plan will not include any other gambling activities, yet some lawmakers of the state have said that additional options are being considered. Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh has stated that video gaming is one such add on that is being discussed.
Marsh has reportedly met with legislators to be able to provide the Governor with information on what activities would pass if a special session is called to discuss the lottery and other gambling alternatives. Marsh also included information that video gaming is on the table for greyhound tracks of the state, of which facilities are located in four different counties.
A constitutional amendment would be needed for a lottery bill to be approved, which will require a vote in the Senate with three-fifths the majority in agreement. The plan will have to be approved by late August to see voting take place on the November 8th ballot.
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